Second GI Plans To Plead Guilty In Rape Case

Team Infidel

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At least he admits it. Now pay your time.

Houston Chronicle
January 19, 2007
By Ryan Lenz, Associated Press
EVANSVILLE, IND. — The second of five 101st Airborne Division soldiers accused of raping a 14-year-old girl and killing her and her family last year in Iraq has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, his attorney said Thursday.
Sgt. Paul Cortez, 24, of Barstow, Calif., is expected to plead guilty to rape and premeditated murder during a hearing next month at Fort Campbell, attorney William Cassara said.
Cassara would not discuss details of the agreement, but said Cortez will no longer face the death penalty. As a matter of protocol, military prosecutors won't discuss the case.
The March 12 deaths of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, her parents and younger sister are considered among the worst in a series of atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.
Cortez "knew what was going to take place and participated as an observer," Cassara said.
Steven Green, 21, who grew up in Midland and Seabrook, Texas, is accused of leading the attack and faces federal charges of rape and murder. The former private was discharged from the military before the allegations surfaced in June.
Spc. James Barker, 24, of Fresno, Calif., pleaded guilty to rape and murder in November and was sentenced to 90 years in military prison. Two others — Pfc. Jesse Spielman, 22, of Chambersburg, Pa., and Pfc. Bryan Howard, 23, of Huffman, Texas — await courts-martial.
In another case involving members of the 101st Airborne, a lawyer for Pfc. Corey Clagett said Thursday that his client has agreed to plead guilty to his role in the killings of three detainees during a raid on a suspected al-Qaida compound last year in Samarra, Iraq.
Clagett, 21, of Moncks Corner, S.C., is one of four soldiers charged with murder in the May 9 raid.
Two have pleaded guilty. A hearing is scheduled at the end of the month.